Engaging a VA was the best business decision I made this year!
This year at Bumbershoot Creative we’ve been streamlining our processes to provide you, our valued clients, with a much more efficient and easy way to create the website of your dreams. You will have our assurance that safeguarding and protecting your personal information is very important to us.
Taking on a Virtual Assistant (VA) to manage our day-to-day tasks has made the client intake and onboarding process a whole lot better, and made my life much easier and productive too. I still do all of the heavy-lifting in terms of your web design.
Hey, but I know what you’re thinking, how can I be sure that my privacy will be protected?
How I chose my VA
When I first considering engaging a VA, I was worried that they wouldn’t understand my business model and my advocacy for the sex work industry. There were many other questions on my mind as well to make sure that I could trust another person with my clients personal and private information.
When searching for a VA, I thought about these three crucial concerns:
- Where are they based; in my country or overseas?
The locality of our VA was significant as it can be quite annoying and frustrating waiting to speak with them or get an email response quickly when they are in a different timezone. We wanted a local VA. We didn’t want to add any unnecessary delays to your project. Added to that knowing that they are across local privacy laws helps to make the whole process run smoothly.
- Do their business values align with mine?
Not everyone is open to working with businesses in our industry. Would they think like us and will they treat our business as their own? We needed to be able to click with them and trust them, so being like-minded would really help. Having a VA who were sex work-friendly and understood the importance of privacy was equally important.
- Could I trust them to understand my business needs?
What type of communication methods did they use? Using project management systems like Asana, Monday or Trello makes sure that miscommunication won’t happen. When choosing our VA and her team, we read the testimonials on their website and social media.
VAs are professional business owners just like you
As VAs are business owners in their own right, they understand that they are a contractor to us, so we expect that the services they provide will give us a satisfactory outcome … just as we, and you do with our clients … ????
Safeguarding passwords and logins are paramount
A trusted VA will ensure that your client’s personal information is used only for its intended purpose. Some questions you might have about Bumbershoot Creative and our VAs include:
- Will my personal information be kept safe while in your possession and not shared with other parties, unless specifically requested?
- Will you be willing to show me where your office will keep my information and how you will use it?
- Will you be using an online password storage app, and how does that work?
- Will we both be signing a confidentiality agreement as part of our contract together?
- Will you be up-to-date with any legal obligations regarding the handling of personal information as set out in the Privacy Act 1988?
The big issue of keeping your passwords secret and safe is easily possible through password storage systems like LastPass. Our VA and her team will never know what your login is – we share a link with them and they get a link through LastPass. We will also ask you to share your passwords with us this way too. You can revoke this sharing at any time.
How engaging a VA has streamlined my business
My fantastic VA and her team, Paula Burgess from Beyond The Maze have given me back the time to do what I do best – create unique, websites with best-practice coding and beautiful photography, for my sex worker industry clients. We knew we could trust Paula and her team because they had experience working with other privacy-critical industries, like medical, health and finance businesses.
The list of administrative tasks that Paula and her team could manage for me at first was like asking ‘how long is a piece of string?’.
After several meetings and much planning they now help me with the following tasks:
Getting my business administration processes in order
- Keeping track of tasks through Asana and Slack
- File collaboration in Dropbox or Google Drive
- Setting up Agile CRM for new clients, Google Drive or Dropbox folders
- Creating a formal Branding Kit for our business
- Developing a Process document
- Compiling a FAQs list for our website
- Invoicing and receipting
- Diary management, travel arrangements, answering queries and booking venues.
Managing the intake and onboarding of clients saves us a lot of time
- Creating an online Form and linking it to a calendar invite
- Adding the client information into Agile CRM manually or automated through Gravity Forms
- Processing the onboarding and development meeting or form
- Scheduling the development start date in your calendar.
Hey but don’t worry, you’ll still be communicating with me throughout the development process, and I’m always the one working on your website, but Paula and her team will be handling intake, admin, processes, accounting, etc. so be ready to hear from them as well.
Tip or Hint: We started by talking to our VA about the types of things they could handle for us and created a list together. This list was then broken down into tasks in Asana and deadlines applied – simple!
Your trust means everything to us
As we understand the sex work industry, we know that privacy and security are major contributing factors as to how you choose which web designers, photographers or videographers to showcase your business.
- ‘Confidential Information’ means all information of a confidential nature concerning the client and its products, disclosed to the Web Developer by the client and includes any written or oral information that is provided by or disclosed directly or indirectly through any means that is not already in the public domain.
- Materials and work may be provided to the Web Developer from time to time in order to enable provision of the Services. The Web Developer shall exercise due care not to disclose Confidential Information to any third party without express written permission of the client and will only use the Confidential Information in order to enable the provision of the Services.
- Despite anything contained in this clause, the Web Developer may disclose Confidential Information to the extent required by law or a regulatory authority.
- During the term of this arrangement and after its termination, all information concerning fees, payment arrangements, terms and any other information disclosed by the Web Developer, shall be treated as Confidential Information by the client.
We respect the privacy and confidentiality of the information provided by you and adhere to the Australian Privacy Principles in line with the Privacy Act 1988.
Bumbershoot Creative is dedicated to being an advocate for sex workers to secure their online presence. We understand and implement greater online security, safety and reliability for sex workers and their online content and want you to be reassured that these values are still important to us as we expand as a business.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about how my VA and I work together.
Your Sex Work-Friendly Web Designer
Kim is an independent filmmaker and web designer/developer. Her short films have been selected for and screened at festivals around the world from Perth, Australia to New York City. As the founder of Bumbershoot Creative, she aims to apply her own creative skills and experiences to new projects, helping and supporting her clients as they grow their own businesses and ventures.
Kim has years of experience building websites for individuals and businesses in the adult industry. As such, she understands the unique challenges that owners of adult businesses are often faced with, including billing discrimination, hosting and service restrictions, shadow-banning, and stolen content.